Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Forms and Spreadsheets

Collecting data from multiples users has always been quite the challenge.  But now thanks to Google shared spreadsheets and forms – it’s a snap!

Just like Google Docs, spreadsheets can be shared with anyone.  This makes collecting information easier than ever.  Here are some examples of how I have used Google spreadsheets:

  • Collect names, addresses and emails of group members
  • Create a survey for opinions. votes, or preferences
  • Collaborate with others for data collection (ie, fast food nutritional information, State facts, Historical data)
  • Financial Planning or Budgets
  • Project planning
  • Student information

Here’s how:

  1. Before you start, decide how you want users to enter the data on a spreadsheet.
    • Access a Google spreadsheet and add the data directly on the spreadsheet.  Note:  All other data will be visible.
    • Email a form and users submit the data right from their email program.
    • Link to the published form from a URL.
    • Embed a form into a webpage and users submit the data from the embedded form
  2. You can create a new spreadsheet at by going to New / Spreadsheet. This will open a blank spreadsheet which you should name and save.  Enter your titles, data, or formulas and then click on the SHARE button to enter the email addresses of those you want to collaborate.  They will receive an email with a link to be able to access the spreadsheet.
  3. Another option is to upload an existing Excel spreadsheet.  Now you can access this data from any computer.
  4. If you would rather have the users enter the data into a FORM – go to New / Form and you will see the beginnings of a web form.  Add your questions and choose the type of answer:  text, paragraph, check boxes, multiple choice, choose from a list or Scale (1-n). When done, save and then choose to “publish” the form (it provides a long URL), “Email this form”, or from “More Actions”, get the embed code to embed the form into a webpage, wiki or blog.
  5. When users enter the data into the form and press submit, all of the data will be dropped into ONE spreadsheet.  This is an excellent way to gather data from multiple users.



Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at: